mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Dear Yulegoat,
Thank you for writing!  I hope you have fun.

First and foremost, I think that wonderful things happen when people write the fic they always wanted to see but never got.  I'm going to give suggestions and a few prompts, but if you think of something else that excites you, or that you've always wanted to write, please do!  I want to see your idfic, your superegofic, the thing you love writing.  Slash, femslash, het, poly, and gen are all great. 
I have the following squicks: bathroom stuff, omorashi, forced feeding, prolonged embarrassment, emotional abuse, sex with kids under 15, vore, explicitly described torture.  Avoid those, and I'll be happy.
Things I love to see: Victorian-style melodrama, masked balls, duels, repartee, detailed descriptions of food and of etiquette, swashbuckling, arranged marriage, historical AUs, enemies becoming lovers, dubcon.

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Duel after the Masquerade.   Just .... holy shit.  This is my id-painting.   The use of color is wonderful, the composition is wonderful ... who am I kidding.  It's a duel.   After a masquerade. ♥

There's only one possible set of prompts:  What happened?   How did this people get to this situation?  What happened next? If you'd rather reset this on a spaceship, underwater, in the 1920s, ... feel free.  Just keep the duel, in the snow. After the masquerade. 

18th Century Pirate RPF -  Anne Bonney, Mary Read.

Anne Bonney and Mary Read were too big for any fiction to contain them.  They were pirates.  They may well have been lovers.  They fought together, were captured together, and died apart.   They were the only two people who fought fiercely when their ship was taken.   Bonney commented to her lover, Calico Jack Rackham, "Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang'd like a dog."   Both women "pleaded their bellies" (claimed to be pregnant) to postpone being hanged.  Mary Read died in prison of puerperal fever, and nobody knows what happened to Anne Bonney.

Note that I am *not* asking for the characters from Black Sails, and I'd prefer you not include canon from that show.
Knock yourself out.   Tell any story about those two ladies that sets your hair on fire.  Include as many other historical pirates as float your boat -- or none, if that's what you prefer.

Stalky and Co - Beetle, Stalky Corkran, M'Turk
I love these books so much I cannot be rational about them.   There is one single story about them as adults, which is M'Turk relating his id-fic about Stalky.  (It supposedly happened, but M'Turk does embellish when he finds it appropriate.)     Kipling said austerely that the headmasters stalked the bedrooms to ward off "beastliness", but it's well-established that the core three were supervised precisely as much as they found appropriate.
I will delightedly accept anything you want to write about these characters.  I will, however, nod knowingly at Stalky and M'Turk's possible adult relations, and I do mean adult.   If you prefer to write them as horny adolescents, please make them 16 or older.  And gen is fine, too! 

I note parenthetically that the title has an ampersand, damn it.
I hope you have a joyous Yuletide, have fun writing,  and that the gift you yourself receive is wonderful.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 I went to my new eye doctor, and we hit it off like the San Andreas Fault.  He is such a big ol' nerd that he has his gaming table (with some card set I didn't recognize) set up *in his office* so he and his office manager can chill, he hand-built the very attractive reception table out of stone, he was ecstatic that I recognized the Funko Pop of the Goblin King from Labyrinth immediately, and I introduced him to Randall Munroe (XKCD guy)'s What If?, to McCall's cosplay site with the wing pattern, and to Things I Won't Work With.   This is the call of my tribe:  Have you read this book?  And this?  And this?

Nice guy.  Did thorough eye exam.  Now I shall be glasses-free for two weeks, and I need glasses for both short and long vision.  Sigh.  (I have a pair of frames I adore, and I'm putting new lenses in them, and I don't have a backup.)

Also, as [personal profile] edenfalling  kindly warned me, the replacement Note 7s are already blowing up.  Or at least one did.  On an airplane.  Fortunately, parked on the ground.  I'm afraid that's that, and I'll be stuck with my Galaxy 7 Edge, which I do not love.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
  1. Happy birthday, [personal profile] oursin !
  2. I realized last month, after only forty (gasp) years of reading Georgette Heyer, what a "light seat" means in riding. Check me: a rider with a "light seat" is supporting their weight on their legs and/or leaping-horn, transmitting their weight down to the stirrups and allowing their legs to act as shock-absorbers, rather than resting their weight on the saddle and bumping up and down on the horse's back. Right?
  3. I called my husband "darling" in the supermarket Sunday. Am I right in thinking that outside the U.S. (and, for that matter, the Midwestern/Southern parts of the Midwest, for all I know) this would be weird or indecorous?
  4. Oh God, oh Montreal. My medical marijuana provider is no longer veiling its features with the scanty voile of medicine.
    What better way to start your weekend than a cannabis-themed brunch?
    This week we're putting our favorite brunch items on sale - infused coffee and tea mixes, honey, granola, almond butter, jam. Order by Thursday to take advantage of the sale price and have yours in time for next weekend!
I shudder to think of the guests at a marijuana brunch driving home.  The nasty thing about edibles is that (A) you can't predict when they'll hit and (B) you can't be confident of the dose and (C) you tend to eat too much because it hasn't hit yet.  Lather, rinse, repeat.   Pot in honey, almond butter, and jam, sounds especially prone to "Oh, just one more croissant" and then disaster.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
The Miscellaneous category is my jam.

Clue | Cluedo (Board Game) (3) ↑

Miss Scarlet (Clue - Board Game) Mrs. Peacock (Clue - Board Game) Mrs. White (Clue - Board Game)

Elizabeth Parker's Sampler

(for details on the sampler, click the More Information tab)

Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs (4) ↑

Cindy (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Steve (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Jo (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs) Linda (Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion... - Sandia Labs)

Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations (4) ↑
'Tis little good to chase the deeds of magic - Thomas Mackenzie (Golden Age Illustrations) A lady's lover - Kay Nielson (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations) The Story of Baba Abdallah - Virginia Sterrett (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations) Youth on Horseback - Anton Pieck (Golden Age 1001 Nights Illustrations)

ICD-10 | International Classification of Diseases v10 (Anthropomorphic) (3) ↑

V91.07 – Burn due to water skis on fire (ICD-10) V95.43 – Spacecraft collision injuring occupant (ICD-10) Y92.241 – Injury at library (ICD-10)

It's going to be a good year out on the fringes.    I haven't looked through the mainstream categories yet, except:

In Theater, we've got Angels in America, Diary of a Provincial Lady (there's a play?), Doctor Faustus, Don Carlos, Faust, An Ideal Husband, Iolanthe, Road Show (Sondheim, never made it to Broadway for good reason), Twelfth Night, and Eugene Onegin.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
From the Hollywood Reporter:

NBC Turning 'Oliver Twist' Into Contemporary Female-Driven Procedural (Exclusive)

The drama, which has received a script commitment, is described as a modern take on Dickens' second novel that was originally published as a serial in the 1830s. Twist's logline is as follows: A sexy contemporary take on Oliver Twist with a struggling 20-something female (Twist) who finally finds a true sense of family in a strange group of talented outcasts who use their unique skills to take down wealthy criminals.

Or, in other words, Leverage. But with Dickens syrup on top.  
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Apparently my brand-new phone, a luxury I treated myself to on Saturday after a week of waiting for a new battery for a dead phone, is in the habit of exploding and is about to be recalled.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Noms are 9 Sep - 16 Sep.

Am thinking about my noms.   I have some things I'm toying with.
  • Duel after the Masquerade. (definite)  I mean, holy shit.  My favorite story painting ever.
  • Wanderer Above The Sea of Fog.   I am amused to note that autocomplete caught "romantic man on cliff".  The problem is that all the action would be in the request: there isn't a plot, there's just a person.
  • "Locksley Hall" from the woman's point of view.
  • Anne Bonney/Mary Read femslash.
More thinking to come.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
How to really, REALLY piss off the FDA

Theranos purported to be a company that could do bloodwork from a pinprick rather than from IV blood draws. This claim earned them billions of dollars in VC and got its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Harvard to pursue her idea, on the cover of multiple magazines. As of last fall, she was (on paper) worth $4.5 billion.

The only problem is, Theranos’ technology didn’t work. At all. Last fall Medicaid reviewed the lab results for warfarin testing . This test determines whether the blood thinner you’re taking will make you bleed to death. It’s kind of a crucial test that way. All 81 results Medicare reviewed were wrong. Every single one.

The FDA formal letter revoking Theranos’ certification is available at the New York Times. It is a thing of beauty.
Just a sample for your delight:

... The April 1, 2016 letter accompanying the second submission states that "documentation explains how the laboratory came to its conclusions regarding patient outcomes (Ex JJ, Tab 3A)".  However, Ex JJ, Tab 3A simply states: "Patient Impact: Based on PT investigation, no patient impact," and does not say how the laboratory came to its conclusions that no patients were affected.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
Cheerful Uber driver, picking me up: "Have you had your ten thousand steps today?"
Me: "I'm disabled."
Him: "But you still need to exercise!"

Turns out he was a newly-certified personal trainer. I commented that as the disability came on, I'd been very grateful for a trainer who knew my limitations.

Cheerful driver: "You still need to do perfect reps! Just at 75% intensity!"

Very glad he's not *my* trainer.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
My daughter spotted this evening that Shadow had something wrong with his neck and fluid all over his fur. We sprinted him off to the emergency vet, and it turned out that an abscess had burst. Common in cats, nothing to worry about, but it had to be cleaned so that it would heal properly. By the time they finished diagnosing him, Shadow had had enough of this bullshit and was squatting on the table hissing and growling. He had previously put up with the rectal thermometer with surprising grace, bless him.

He had to be sedated to have the wound cleared out. My daughter brought him home very groggy and out of it. Once he woke up enough to be hungry, he ate some stinky tuna and went to sleep. In his dish. We picked him up and scooted him away from his dish. He ate some more and fell asleep. In his dish. We eventually decided that a sick cat got to sleep in his catfood if he wanted to. The wound wasn't in contact with the food.

Meanwhile, he has a big lump of missing skin where "necrotic tissue had to be debrided" (sounds so much better than it looks), but no Cone of Shame. Apparently we just keep him inside and let his immune system do its thing; the skin would be likely to abscess again if either stitched or bandaged.

Silly drunken cat.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Those of you who knew me way back when know that I used to do a lot of canning.  Now, canning requires standing for long periods in front of a stove that contains one pan of boiling jelly or jam, one stockpot full of boiling water to process the jam in, one stockpot full of boiling water containing sterilized jars, and a small pot full of lids in hot water.

This is beyond me, and has been for awhile.   However, the Ball company have invented a single-purpose widget that has changed my life.   It's called the "Freshtech", and it does one thing: heat a pan of fruit, sugar, and pectin, while rotating a blade to keep it from sticking to the bottom.  Those of you who read the Guardian know that Rhik Samadder hated it.    I bought another single-purpose widget, a Victorinox steam canner.  Instead of submerging jars in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, you place them above boiling water in a sealed container, so that they are heated by steam.   This has recently been proven to be safe for jelly and jam.

Old jelly-making process:
  1. Wash all jars and lids; place jars and lids in separate containers of water, bring to a boil.
  2. Fill your canner with water and bring it to a boil.   Your canner is bigger than the biggest stockpot you own, and is also the sort of vessel you use for a shrimp boil.
  3. Prepare your fruit.
  4. Dump your fruit and sugar into a wide flat pan and stir over heat until it appears to be jelled.  This takes at least 30 minutes, at a stove covered in boiling vessels.
  5. Get boiling jar out.
  6. Ladle boiling fruit into boiling jar.
  7. Place boiling lids on boiling jar.
  8. Place boiling jar into boiling canner, carefully keeping it from touching any other jar
  9. Repeat 5-7 until you're out of jam.
  10. Leave jam in boiling water for processing time, somewhere between 10-15 minutes.
  11. Remove jam from boiling water and let cool in draft-free place.
  12. (die)
New process:
  1. Put jars in dishwasher, run.  (I have just discovered that this is perfectly safe.)  Handwash lids, put in warm water.  It doesn't have to be boiling, just hot enough that the jars don't get heat shock.
  2. Prepare fruit.
  3. Put commercial pectin in bottom of jam thingy.
  4. Put fruit on top of jam thingy.
  5. Push button.  
  6. 4 minutes later, jam thingy beeps.  Add sugar, cup by cup.
  7. Put top on jam thingy.
  8. While jam thingy is doing its thing, fill bottom of steam canner with water (this is about 3 inches deep) and bring to 185.
  9. Jam thingy beeps done.  Remove jam jars from dishwasher.
  10. Fill jars and place lids, as before; however, the only thing that's boiling is the jam.
  11. Place jars -- all four of them, which is IMHO the perfect number -- on steam canner.  Place lid -- oh, blessed lid! -- on steam canner.
  12. Watch for steam canner to hit designated temperature.
  13. Sit for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Remove lid from steam canner and watch steam rise through vent hood.
  15. Remove jars from canner and place somewhere to cool.
  16. Done.
In the new, improved version, you spend much much less time on your feet, and much much less time over a boiling stove.   This gadget wouldn't be at all what you wanted if you were working at scale; if you're putting up a year's worth of raspberry jam, forget it.   However, for making enough jam for a small household without steaming up the kitchen, it's perfect.

Today's inaugural batch was raspberry-blackberry with one strawberry.  Tomorrow or Wednesday there'll be strawberry.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 We hit it off.  You're fun to talk to, you meet me at my level, and you've figured out what I want to learn and how to get there.  You're a good dude.  I look forward to learning from you.

"You don't LOOK disabled!" is never, ever an appropriate thing to say.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
I am about to do paid work in order to procrastinate on writing fic. 
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Good news:  If you want to know what half the people you know are posting about, you can watch Eurovision live on LOGO, if your cable channel carries it.
Bad news:  it has American commentators.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 I was reading Jessica Kiang's essay on why Inside Llewyn Davis was a great subversive movie (quite correct) when I ran into this:

So is it just a conspiracy of dumb luck and bad timing and unfortunate, butter-side-down decision-making that prevents Llewyn from being the guy the New York Times discovers that night in the Gaslight? Or does Llewyn fail because, on some level too deep for him to acknowledge, he has stopped believing he will succeed? 

No.  No, it isn't.   The talent agent in Chicago is absolutely right -- Davis is wrapped up in the song, but he's not a performer.  Part of the problem is that Llewyn Davis does the same thing over and over and over again, hoping that this time it will work.   "It's never new, and it's never old; that's what makes it a folk song."

On that night that begins and ends the movie, Dylan started breaking folk music.  Here's the review from the Times

But if not for every taste, his music-making has the mark of originality and inspiration, all the more noteworthy for his youth. Mr. Dylan is vague about his antecedents and birthplace, but it matters less where he has been than where he is going, and that would seem to be straight up.

I love poor Llewyn a lot, but he is not original.   If Llewyn had gotten that chance that Dylan got, there wouldn't have been the review, and there wouldn't have been the astonishing career.   Llewyn was on the old path of folk music; Dylan blasted a new.  Llewyn missed the performance, but he wasn't remotely capable of giving that performance, and that's his tragedy.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 Needlepoint.  Crewel.  Candlewicking. Cross stitch.

Learn the difference.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 I was trying to identify a Victorian houseplant, "musk";  readers of Stalky and Company will remember that our heroes smashed the loathsome King's plant.  Musk was notorious for its wonderful fragrance; therefore I must acquire  it for my garden.    I did a lot of Googling and eventually decided the particular musk, based on scale, had to be Mimulus moschatus.    I couldn't find it for sale commercially, and the scientific writeups didn't mention the fragrance.

A little more Googling and I found out why.   Sometime before the nineteen-teens, commercial musk stopped smelling.    There are several reputable references in both the scientific literature and in gardening essays, all of which agree that musk used to be ubiquitous in windowboxes and gardens, but that the writers hadn't smelled it in years, even though the plants continued to be available.   Nobody's found a scented wild musk, either.   The plants live on, but the fragrance is unattainable.

Scientists' best guess is that the original musk collected from the wild was a rare scented variant, now, as far as we know, extinct.  The nurserymen who were propagating musk somehow selected for a scentless strain, probably by emphasizing some other plant quality, and within a generation or two, the scent gene was lost in cultivation as well.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
 I've been enjoying reading Catherine Horwood's Potted History: The Story of Plants in the Home.  Overall, I've learned a lot, although as usual there's a strong focus on the nobility and the middle classes, with the working class surfacing briefly for discussions of geraniums, florists' flowers, and charitable works.   By Chapter 12 on p.150 the author has visibly run out of steam, and begins rushing through the 20th century.  There's a paragraph on WWI from the perspective of an indoor-plant nursery, after which she claims that post-war middle-class homes switched their attention from indoor gardening to outdoor (males) and cut flowers (females).   I get that conservatories were Right Out, but Horwood claims that between WWI and WWII the only widespread houseplants were cactus and rubber-plant.   "These, said the Architectural Review in 1952, had become the clichés of the 1920s and 1930s as much as the aspidistra had been of the Victorian era."

This casts a new light on the enormous cactus in Busman's Honeymoon: it's surprisingly modern and chic for the crusty and cheap old bachelor who owned the house.

According to Horwood, other indoor plants returned to favor only when a fad was imported from Scandinavia in the late 1940s (with an assist from Constance Spry).

Does this seem plausible to you?  I get that plant fashions come and go, but the idea that for twenty-five-something years the plant-loving Britons grew nothing indoors but forced bulbs, cactus, and rubber-plant comes as a surprise.


mme_hardy: White rose (Default)

October 2016

23 4 5678


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

  • Style: Indil for Ciel by nornoriel

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 25th, 2016 05:14 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios